Eric’s ideology

He’s often accused of being an extreme leftist, but Eric Margolis is actually a Buchananite, isolationist right-winger. (Admittedly, it’s not always easy to tell the difference.) The final paragraph of his latest column:

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt launched mass social welfare schemes in the 1930s similar to ones that Obama is proposing. Roosevelt’s New Deal may have staved off popular revolution but it did little for the economy. It took goading Japan into war to end the Depression. Let’s hope Obama does not intend to follow this example in Afghanistan. [emphasis added]

Damian P.


12 thoughts on “Eric’s ideology

  1. Afghanistan already gave us their “Pearl Harbour” in 2001. other than that you cannot compare the Pacific War with Afghanistan, remember Japan already was at war with China way before the attack on the U.S.why do people take Margolis seriously??

  2. So when FDR took all of Japan’s assets in 1940 this was intended as a peaceful gesture?
    FDR wasn’t looking for the US to enter the war. That’s why American ships were all ready shooting at the Germans in the Atlantic.
    Try reading history. You wouldn’t sound so much like Helen Thomas.

  3. “It took goading Japan into war to end the Depression.”
    If FDR and the American people were desperate for a solution to end the Depression, and so certain that war was the cure for 10 years of economic ruin, then why wait more than 2 years to “goad Japan into war,” when the U.S. could simply have joined Britain, the Commonwealth and France in declaring war on Germany in Sept 1939?
    More importantly, why does Sun Media disgrace itself by employing a propagandist hack like Margolis?

  4. Thomas Jackson: The assets were frozen in July 1941, not 1940:
    There is reason to believe that the order to freeze was instigated by a bureaucrat on his own initiative (not the president’s immediate intention) and could not be reversed as it would have been too embarrassing. Can’t find a link right now.
    I do agree about the use of the US Navy in the Atlantic as an attempt to provoke Germany into providing a casus belli.
    Regardless, it was right and necessary for the well-being of humanity–and of the US–that the US fight Germany, Italy, and Japan. Pace Margolis the Mendacious and Buchanan the Blusterer (where are his pitchforks now?).

  5. “It took goading Japan into war to end the Depression.”
    Vintage Margolis. Try passing this one by the descendants living in Nanking, Korea or Manchuria.

  6. In the Prize, Daniel Yergin’s magnificent history of oil, there is a fabulous account of the American calculations behind seizing Japanese assets and putting on embargo on oil exports (the US was the Saudi Arabia of the day, remember). One of Roosevelt’s cabinet secretaries was gung ho (as many in the US were) but Roosevelt slapped him down, repeatedly and explicitly saying, no, we can’t do that because it would goad the Japanese into attacking both the (oil-rich) Dutch East Indies and us. Only when the Japanese decided to attack the Dutch East-Indies anyway — a decision the Yanks knew about through intercepts — did Roosevelt order the embargo.

  7. “Goading” is clearly a loaded word in this context, but it often forgotten that the attack on Pearl Harbor was not some out of the blue, totally unprovoked action breaking some heretofore peaceful relationship. There was a decades long history of provocatin and counter-provacation (one might argue it went back as far as 1895 (Korea) or 1905 (Tsushima)) with many of the events already mentioned in these comments. One can argue that American policy and FDR’s policies in particular were justifiable provocations (my view), but it’s factually incorrect to argue that they weren’t provocations at all.
    Margolis is in good form here, taking a basic structure of fact and painting it with his ideological colors in a single word.

  8. “American ships were all ready shooting at the Germans” Where? In the many years I have watched documentaries and read so much about this time, I have never heard of this ever. And don’t give me some BS, revisionist, neo-Nazi crap.

  9. War was inevitable between the US and the Axis. The question wasn’t if but when and it wasn’t because of some Rooseveltian plot. It was because the values and actions of the Axis were wholly irreconciable with the values and goals of the Americans. If Germany and Japan were victorious, the Americans would have been squeezed and threatened at every turn. But America was not ready for war nor its people desirous of it. FDR did everything he could short of war to aid the British and stymie the Japanese imperialist ambitions in Asia while preparing the US for the war he was sure would come. The Japanese calculated that an attack on Pearl would give them time to conquer the great Islands of Asia and fortify them against the expected American counter attack. They even had some hope that American resolve would fail and America would retreat from the Pacific. They gambled. They lost.
    Incidentally, “J” try googling “USS Reuben James” and “USS Niblack.” The Americans and Germans were in a shooting war before 7 December. The Americans were convoying war materials to Britain for use against the Germans. They were also passing intelligence about German shipping to the British who then acted on it to destroy German ships. If not overtly acts of war, they were very close to the line.

  10. Goading Japan into war against the US was the easy part. The hard part was goading Japan into war against China to provide a pretext for applying economic pressure against Japan.
    Yes, I’m being facetious. People who can’t see any further back than 1941 or 1939 are not to be taken seriously.

  11. So it would have been better to cut off all aide to Britain and not pursue a policy of lending a firehose? Following the same policies of Britian and France during the Spanish Civil War. Let the fascists win and wait until either they showed up at America’s shores, or more likely the election of a pro-fascist government in the US?
    This is like those who argue that the American Civil War would not have happened if only Lincoln had removed troops from Fort Sumter. Negelecting the decades of political developments that set the stage for that war.
    And, also, was Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor some how justfied? Even though the US and Japan were conducting negotiations and diplomatic efforts up to the very hour of the attack? Japan had no choice?
    This sounds like warmed over apologies for two expansionist powers who sought to revise the world order to make way for the end of democracy and racial supremicist theories about the future of humanity.

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